Books: If a better future beckons ...

Self-awareness tests, research and a slick interview technique are this manual's route to career fulfilment. John Vincent recommends it - with a little pinch of salt.

In 1995, I was working at Procter & Gamble selling make-up to Boots.

That, it turned out, made me attractive to ladies. So I found myself dating a more beautiful girlfriend than I should have been and hanging out in her rented basement flat. I have a vivid memory of seeing a book on her shelf called What Colour is Your Parachute? My interest was piqued enough to have a flick. It was, it turned out, a posh careers guidance manual with lots of self-help and navel-gazing thrown in.

Anyway, as a result of my P&G closing sales techniques, that person subsequently became my wife. Eleven years on, her younger sister is staying with us, so there was a certain historical symmetry to seeing a 'stunningly updated' edition (that's confidence!) of What Colour is My Parachute? on her bookshelf.

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